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Iraq PM says he will step down 

Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi in Berlin, Germany on 30 April 2019 [Michele Tantussi/Getty Images]
Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi in Berlin, Germany on 30 April 2019 [Michele Tantussi/Getty Images]

Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi announced his resignation today after the country’s top Shia cleric called for lawmakers to reconsider their support for a government rocked by weeks of deadly anti-establishment unrest, Reuters reported.

“In response to this call, and in order to facilitate it as quickly as possible, I will present to parliament a demand [to accept] my resignation from the leadership of the current government,” a statement signed by Abdul Mahdi said.

The statement did not say when he would resign. Parliament is to convene an emergency session on Sunday to discuss the crisis.

READ: Iraq protesters block main port, roads leading to oil fields

Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani earlier urged parliament to consider withdrawing its support for Abdul Mahdi’s government to stem spiralling violence.

Security forces meanwhile shot dead at least three people in the southern city of Nasiriyah as clashes continued.

Iraqi forces have killed nearly 400 mostly young, unarmed demonstrators people since mass anti-government protests broke out on 1 October. More than a dozen members of the security forces have also died.

The burning of Iran’s consulate in the holy city of Najaf on Wednesday escalated violence and drew a brutal response from security forces who shot dead more than 60 people nationwide yesterday.

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